Every year, the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) community radio station CKUW works on and off the air to raise the money they need to keep operating consistently and commercial-free.
“This is where the community aspect of community radio really becomes salient,” Sam Doucet, CKUW’s program director, says.
Doucet says there’s something on CKUW for everyone, and the community’s appreciation for the station’s diversity in programming is evident especially during Fundrive, when both veteran and new listeners call in to donate.
As always during the Fundrive, different incentives are offered at different levels of donations. Every year, CKUW outsources a local artist to create a design to be the face of that year’s drive.
This year, local artist Emma Mayer created a colourful design that will be featured on the CKUW donation incentives.
“For my Fundrive design, I wanted to make something using bold colours and simple shapes that kind of referenced the flow of music in an abstract way,” Mayer says.
Mayer says it was a great honour to be asked to be a part of the Fundrive.
“I feel like CKUW is such an integral part of the Winnipeg music scene and art community, and it’s where a lot of Winnipeg musicians get their songs played on air for the first time,” she says.
Individual programs also give away their own unique incentives for donations. For example, Germán Avila Sakar, the host of Wednesday morning show Cafecito Latinamericano, is giving away a handmade backpack from Mercado Coyoacán, a market in Mexico City.
The goal of Sakar’s show on CKUW is to get Latin American culture broadcasted, both in terms of music and news.
“I’m always thinking of the Latin American community in Winnipeg, those people who are out of their countries and that have Spanish as their mother tongue and miss hearing Spanish,” he says. “People talking in Spanish and songs in Spanish bring that nostalgia and connection, and that also happens with the music itself.
“Part of the (station’s) budget comes from student fees, so (CKUW) ends up being our station, and I hope that we can all contribute to it. Part of that is to keep it running, because we have to pay the bills.”
Whether receiving a unique backpack or a CKUW sweater for donating, contributions really help out the station.
“It’s always an interesting part about Fundrive, all the different incentives, but we try not to focus on the incentives too much, because that’s not what the Fundrive is really about. It’s about supporting the station,” Doucet says.
Ugonna Chigbo and Rashrico Rostant, co-hosts of Fantastic Friday, are extremely passionate about CKUW’s community.
The hosts of the fun-loving “educainment” (education and entertainment) program say CKUW is one of the few radio stations that still connects deeply with its community, and that students should take ownership of it and contribute to it.
“Not just in the money part of the contribution, but also the spiritual connection,” he says. “That connectedness, this is we, we are the University of Winnipeg. We are CKUW in Winnipeg, and we are a force.”
Donations to CKUW are accepted during Fundrive from Feb. 8 to 15 over the phone at 204-774-6877 or by going to ckuw.ca/donate.